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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  May 28, 2012 7:00am-8:00am PDT

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portions of duval county in florida as well as duval county. that goes until 10:30. doppler indicated tornado, mayport, little talbot island, areas you want to take cover. until 10:30 local time and in tropical systems, you can sometimes get these little rotations to spin up, again bref briefly cause potential for tornados. you may not be able to see them or the funnel clouds themselves, so something to keep in mind. safety wise, you see the swirl itself. max sustained winds, 40 miles per hour. moving towards the west at 8 miles per hour. in the next couple advisories, 11:00 a.m. or 2:00, we could see this becoming a tropical depression. one of the biggest issues is going to be the heavy rainfall. again through a huge area, through to five inches of rainfall and if you get some of those bands that can put upwards of one to two inches per hour over an area, that's where you
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canized numbers over ten inches. travelwise across i-10, 75 and a good stretch of 95 will be dealing with heavy showers. the gust winds, stronger wind gusts are coming as some of these thunderstorms and showers roll onshore. so something to keep in mind. biggest gusts will likely be near the coastline itself. for many other areas, it's going to be the rainfall potential. i mentioned some of the other issues, one is the flash flooding. there's a warning for the area, also, a lot of trees down causing issues around the roadways, so a lot of things to follow. also for the beaches, rich currents making some areas very dangerous for the roll day be h beachgoers. >> with that kind of rain, could be a real mess. thanks so much, todd. in just about an hour, president obama will mark memorial day in arlington, virginia, at the tomb of the unknowns.
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later this morn afternoon, mitt romney will spend memorial day with john mccain in california. kristen welker is at the white house for us this morning and this really is a day when both men put formal campaigning aside. >> right, both men certainly spending this day honor iing ou nation's veterans. president obama and the first lady are hosting a breakfast this morning for gold star families. families who have lost loved ones to war and then as you mentioned, they will be heading to arlington national cemetery for the traditional wreath laying ceremony and then president obama heads to the vietnam veterans memorial wall where he will mark the 50th anniversary of the start of the vietnam war. president obama also issues a proclamation stating that federal and local governments will be paying tribute to the vietnam veterans through 2025, which will mark the end of the vietnam war, so that is something that will make this memorial day a little bit different. mitt romney will also be out today in san diego at a memorial
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day event there. with senator john mccain. mitt romney released this statement paying tribute to veterans. take a look. >> time for us to come together. carry this message across the country. that we're restoring those principles that made america the great nation that it is. we're going to keep america strong. and worthy of the great sacrifice of america's veterans. >> it's also worth mentions on this memorial day, that the veteran vote is also important. they make up about 13% of all voters. president obama lost veterans to john mccain back in 2008. the latest gallop poll shows he is trailing mitt romney in that group, so in the coming days and months, both candidates will be trying to appeal to veterans. >> thank you. kristen welker at the white house for us this morning and we will have live coverage of the president here on msnbc at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. eastern time. this week, congress will
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debate the defense budget. how hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars should be spent. not to mention gay marriage and missile defense, but when lawmakers take to the floor, they're speaking like high school sophomores. a new study fipds discourse in the house and senate has dropped a full grade level to an all time low. let me bring in democratic strategist crystal ball and republican strategist david winston. happy memorial day to you. this study looked at floor speeches, specifically the number of speeches and words used on the floor. so, here's the debate in congress, question. is it, crystal, getting dumber or just more, i don't know, populous? more plain spoken? >> i think actually, you have to think about who their audience is. because it used to be that members of congress in the senate, they were debating each other, so their audience were other members of congress. now, they're thinking more in terms of this is going to go out
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in a youtube clip in a short sound bite to the public. another interesting thing the study showed is that the further to the extreme on both parties, the further to the extreme the member was, the more plain spoken they were. >> why do you think that is? >> i think because once you get to those extremes, things become very black and white and get sort of boiled down to the essentials and there's that pop list element. so as we've seen the house become more divided, it makes sense that sort of plain spok spokeness would follow. >> a senior fellow at the sun light foundation said this. congress is changing as institution and what you see is members gearing their speeches to sound bites or youtube clips. since television, we've had
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people train politicians to speak in sound bites essentially, but with not just youtube i think, but also twitter and you know, so many things out there, are they just really trying to make it so they have a better chance of getting on cable news or in a youtube clip? >> i think it's a combination of two things. that's one dynamic. but you're dealing with pretty complex ideas that you're trying to communicate and taking these ideas and communicating them in a complex way is probably not a successful strategy and they're trying to simplify those complex ideas. i'll give you three good examples. look at the private sector. steve jobs used this phrase. think different. that was the structure for his whole company. in terms of grading, this would be sort of low in grade level, but generating very complex idea. >> but that's not a debate in congress. just a little catch phrase to use in a commercial. >> you had bill clinton, it's the economy, stupid.
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john boehner, where are the jobs. you take these simplistic statements to represent complex ideas because what you're trying to get across is complex policy. if you explain in a complex way, you're going to lose your audience. >> lawmakers at the bottom of the list and you said this, krystal, were on the extremes and the three lowest happen to be tea party republicans. i should point out for example mulvaney went to georgetown, woodall, also a law school graduate. paul, an eye doctor. >> i thought it was funny because he had this quote, he said he wears it as a badge of honor. i found that very interesting as well, that he saw it as a concerted effort to simplify things, take these policy statements and make them
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digestible, but again, it's about who the audience is. more and more, the audience is the public. there is one exception to that. john lewis recently took to the floor. gave a rousing floor speech and persuaded his colleague across the aisle to withdraw an amendment, so they are persuading one another. >> and amazing when you consider where we are. there's another republican, dan lungren, who has the highest level of speech. the president's speech was graded at at eighth grade level three years in a row. is this a situation where we're just speaking to a broad audien audience? >> you can take a complex idea and make it simple. that's what you're trying to do in terms of talking to your colleagues, to the country as a whole. what's the infamous quote about pascal who's 17th century french
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philosopher who said when he sent a letter to somebody, sorry i made this so long, i didn't have to time to make it shorter. that reflects the idea of how much time you have to put in to make a complex idea really understandable. i certainly by the president as well. >> i don't think there's anything wrong with that. what i think is troubling is there can be an attempt on the right to actually run against int lek chul. that i find troubling. boiling things down to their essential elements, i don't think that's a big problem. >> i think most americans would like members of congress to be pretty smart. i think that goes without saying and i think the real question is maybe another study is how many times do they actually listen to each other enough that it makes a difference. >> that it matters. >> and get something done. >> but when you can take a complex idea and boil it down to a simplistic level so people can
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grasp it, you've shown how smart you are in your ability to do that. >> thanks, chris. there is a shocking statistic to tell you about today about our newest war veterans. nearly half of them are filing for disability. what can be done for are wounded warriors? plus, disorder in the court. a protester disrupting tony blair while testifying about the phone hacking scandal and his relationship with repurt murdoch. >> pay $6 million every year -- relieved my pain fast. it helps me get back in the game. but don't take his word for it. put bayer advanced aspirin to the test for yourself at fastreliefchallenge.com. at bank of america, we're lending an in communities across the country. fro omrevi htalielzeping t a neigbrhbooklyn..or.ho financing industries that are creating jobs in boston... providing funding for the expansion of a local business serving a diverse seattle community...
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you are looking at live pictures from arlington national cemete cemetery. you see on your right, the tomb of the unknowns where president obama will be later today to lay a wreath and we will have that for you live in less than an hour from now and all the folks
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who have gathered there. if you've ever been to one of these ceremonies, it is a solemn and moving ceremony. we will have that for you live around 11:00 eastern time. and as the nation pays tribute to the more than 6400 troops who died in post 9/11 wars, of the 1.6 million iraq and afghanistan war veterans, 45% are now filing for disability benefits, more than double the number after the gulf war. it suggests today's veterans could be the most medically troubled generation of troops the nation has seen. i'm joined by chairman of votevets.org. happy memorial day. why has this number doubled? >> it's shocking. one is the type of combat. obviously in the first gulf war, it was a much shorter operation. in this war, you've got the types of combat people are in, it's affecting all troops.
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we're losing a casualty, one of every eight dies. they come home with a lot of problems. there's also the economic side. if you don't come home to a job, you don't have benefits. garden reservice who are making up 27% of the people claiming are trying to get those benefits. they don't receive care that's mandatory. they have to buy into the system. they switch to the veterans administration and they're only guaranteed those benefits for five years so something most americans didn't realize was just because you served in war, doesn't mean you have health care. >> i think that shocks people. anyone who has looked into what's going on at va's today, they are just overwhelmed. it's tough. >> sure. so they have vietnam veterans and world war ii veterans and now, veterans who have come back from iraq or afghanistan, they have to provide primary care, but after that, you can only stay in the system with disability, so there's a big
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push to get people who are having problems to get service connected and that process is taking almost over 200 days. they have to prove that someone's disability is related to war service. >> how much of this can be credited to aggressive outreach? really trying to help people get the people they need? >> i think that's a good thing. obviously, you know, one of the centers is doing a great job on this is capitol hill is senator tester from montana. montana's a rural state. he's built tons of vet centers where our local veterans can go. so there has been a big push and that's a big plus. i don't think anyone ever anticipated the amount of veterans, amount of combat and length of these wars. it's been over ten years of war now. that's a largest cause why the administration was overrun. they don't fall under department
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of defense coverage. they fall into the va so, they've been overrun. obviously outreach is a part of it. there's a lot of demand right now. >> yeah, and what is the number one thing you hear from returning veterans? >> obviously, there's traumatic brain injury, a head injury that you know, there's a lot of improvised explosive device attacks and there's post-traumatic stress disorder. when you send someone to war two or three times and they go on a convoy, 15, 20, 30 time, sometimes 100, there's always these issues that arise. the challenges they face when they come home, readjusting to society. and prior war, there wasn't as much support for mopost-traumat stress disorderer. the there's no blood test that says you have ptsd. >> something we all need to pay attention to on this memorial day. thank you so much. >> thanks a lot. total recall.
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just eight days until wisconsin's recall election between governor scott walker and tom barrett. what this election could mean for november. plus, planes, trains and automobiles. tens of millions of americans traveling this holiday weekend. even more than last year. e throughout our entire lives. ♪ one a day men's 50+ is a complete multi-vitamin designed for men's health concerns as we age. ♪ it has more of seven antioxidants to support cell health. that's one a day men's 50+ healthy advantage. in here, great food demands a great presentation. so at&t showed corporate caterers how to better collaborate by using a mobile solution, in a whole new way. using real-time photo sharing abilities, they can create and maintain high standards,
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any day can be an adventure. that's why we got a subaru. love wherever the road takes you. wow, there it is. so here we are at the unofficial start of summer. millions of americans are on the road. according to aaa, there is a jump in travel this holiday weekend, but there's a catch. more people are staying closer to home. where are people going? that's not so far away? cynthia brew is the lead spokeswoman for aaa. almost 35 million americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this weekend. an increase from last year. are people feeling better about the economy? gas prices? what's going on? >> what we found this year with our survey is that the
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respondents told us it's pent up demand that started in 2010 post recession as well as american's passion for their vacation. we want to take that vacation. it's part of our lifestyle. and the gas prices dropping from the april peak really helped incentivise people to get out there and take that summer family vacation. >> could how far people travel depend on where they live? there seems to be a big despairty in what gas costs in different parts of the country. >> it is. there are gee graphical situations that come into play for distance. in the northeast, people don't have to drive as far to get where they're going, but out in the northwest, of course, things are spread out and they have to go farther to get where they're going. the gas prices, really it's a tale of two coasts. on april 6th, gas prices peaked
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nationwide at about 3.94 a gallon. on the east coast, those prices are down to 3.64 today. a full 30 cents less than that april 6th peak and 15 cents less than memorial day last year. for the folks on the west coast, they didn't see that decline after april 6th. in fact, their prices continued to raise and only last week did they start to drop. we saw them plateau and last week, they started to drop in california for example. gas prices today are five cents less than they were a week ago, but in total, they're 60 cents higher than their friends and neighbors on the east coast. >> for everybody traveling, safe travels to them and it's good to see you. thanks for being with us today. >> you're welcome. tropical storm beryl makinging land fall this morning and causing a lot of problems this holiday weekend.
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[ horse neighs ] hold up partner. prilosec isn't for fast relief. try alka-seltzer. it kills heartburn fast. yeehaw! tropical storm beryl is bearing down on florida, georgia and south carolina and it could bring as much a foot of rain. the storm has lost intensity, but heavy rains could cause problems for the commute back home. mike seidel has the latest from jackenville beach, florida. >> yes, it did, chris, a little after midnight, but it was a broad circulation center. wasn't a tightly wound up tropical storm because it started off as the subtropical storm became tropical. the strongest ones were away from the center, but we did see the wind drop and the rain shut down for a few hours.
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right now, we've got the winds coming up the beach instead of down because storm is going inland, so south winds running up the beach about 20 to 25 miles an hour, blowing some sand around. the city of jacksonville has been hit hard. we have a flash flood warning until noon. heavy rain that has pounded the area. another line came through, prompted a tornado warning. it was based on radar. that's no unusual when tropical systems make land fall. take a look at the radar now, you can see the circulation, the gyre moving along i-10. it's a minimal tropical storm. 40 mile an hour maximum sustained winds. in a few minutes, or two, they'll drop that down to a depression. still going to produce locally heavy rainfalls across florida, southeast georgia and parts of south carolina in the next one to two days because it's moving
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slow. going to take a right turn, then out to sea. up in georgia here, take a look. we had wind blowing down trees. the peak wind gusts measured on land was just north of here. just a notch below hurricane force. 73 mile an hour gusts. when you get 60 mile an hour gusts, it has trees down up to charleston. 26,000 customers in jacksonville, about 5%. the rain is a good thing, high fire danger. some of the deficits, 15 inches in parts of georgia. the worst drought in the country, the rain is a welcome sight. or at least in florida headed
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inland because they knew today was going to be pretty much a bad beach day. >> mike seidel, who has to travel with a little bit of everything and has his goggles on. thank you so much. in london today, tony blair testified in britain's hacking scandal. a protester barged in right in the middle of proceedings. >> three months after we invad d ed iraq, held up to 20 billion. it was then pay $6 million every year and still it is from jpmorgan -- >> and as you can see, he was remove frd the court. tony blair was grilled over his close links to rupert murdoch. stephany gosk joins us from london. never a dull moment in the u.k. >> no, lots of excitement here between diamond jubilees and pie throwing and crazy people. these hearings were triggered by
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allegations of phone hacking, but their scope is much broader and they are now looking to pull back the curtain on the media's influence over government. the relationship with murdoch while he was prime minister, but was it too close? >> it would be strange, frankly, if senior people in the media didn't have that close interaction. >> but he acknowledge that had the relationship can grow into something he called unhealthy. >> so those papers that take into particular view on a paper, a policy, a person, that is driven with an aggression and prejudice which means you crossed the line. >> murdoch's newspaper endorsed blair in the late '90s after the paper has supported the conservative party for years. murdoch was asked about the endorsement when he was asked last month. >> you had extracted really as much you could from mr. blair,
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so you endorsed him. >> i think so. >> blair's personal relationship with the newspaper tycoon would continue to grow. the former prime minister is god father to one of murdoch's children. >> i didn't want him to say or do anything that might lead people to infer he was under some obligation to mr. murdoch. >> blair said his relationship on a friendship level with murdoch only developed after he left office. he never would have been god father to his child while he was still prime minister. >> thank you so much. back here at home, decision 2012, the romney campaign rolls into sin city this week joined by newt gingrich and the donald. although trump isn't everybody's super surrogate. >> the cost of appearing with
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th -- is obvious it seems to me. you can still intrude into american politics. >> let's bring in a.b. stoddard and national journal chief analyst, jim o'sullivan. political pluses and minuses of having donald trump on your team. >> truthfully, he has helped raise a nice bit of money for the romney campaign. he wanted to be a part of it immediately and he's held some very nice parties for mrs. romney on her birthday and mr. romney and raised a lot of money for them. so i think that mitt romney calculated that you need to keep your enemies closer and could not rebuff trump once he wanted to endorse him and get him to the roimny campaign action. the other thing is, you look at newt gingrich and these other people. it seems everybody except for rick santorum have figured out
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it's in their best interest to help out the nominee and get the voters fired up. get the funders fired up and be a part of this team and so, that's why everyone's clambering for campaign events. newt gingrich didn't want to be left out either and i think the romney campaign has a tough time saying no. >> should they be careful about this, jim? there's a downside, right? >> i think a.b. addressing a good point. they need to raise money. donald trump and newt gingrich speak to a very real, sizable part of the party. the tea party base. you saw gingrich do well among them. trump speaks to them on the birther issue. >> if you're mitt romney and you're sending your national spokesperson out this and saying the president was born in the united states, do you want as a high pro file member of your team somebody who's talking
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about whether the president of the united states is -- >> absolutely not. that's not an issue that the romney people want to talk about. romney's never brought that up. there's a downside. i think you saw -- it's a flash point for the republican party. so they've obviously weighed on the benefits and costs and they're going to stick with trump for now. >> no surprise, trump hit back at george will on twitter. he's what we wrote -- may be the dumbest and most overrated political commentator of all time. if republicans listen to him, they will lose. do you think anybody in the romney campaign right now is a little bit nervous about trump going to the microphones in las vegas? >> yeah, that's the problem is donald trump likes to make the flavor last and so we don't know what he's going to say and in the days that follow, how he's going to spend his time on twitter or calling into tv shows like "morning joe" as he's done in the past and giving more and
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more and more of his opinion. so it is a tough line for the romney campaign. you know when he got his endorsement, he was trying to sneak in and out of the building and not call so much attention to himself, but this is with trump, you can't do it halfway, so having an event in vegas is really asking for the full show. >> let me ask you, jim, as we talked about the money and that's a key part of this. and ng coewt gingrich coming in. do you think he could bring in sheldon adelson? >> adelson's said he would back who's running for president in november. >> but how big will the check be, i guess is the question? and he can write one that's pretty big to the pack. >> look, this is sort of the central challenge of the romney campaign. he needs to sort of pacify or mull fie that tea party wing while maintaining his appeal to
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where he's more comfortable. among the establishment, pro business, upscale, higher income republicans and pull in a couple of independents that he's going to need to overtake the president. it's going to be like this until november. >> it's the balancing act on both sides. thank you, both. happy memorial day. and on this day, a special thanks to all the troops currently serving our country. the troops who have served in the past and all the troops who have given their lives for our freedom. ♪ ♪ ♪ god bless the u.s.a.
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and on this memorial day morning, you are look at live picture frs arlington, gnarl cemetery. that is the tomb of the unknowns and ceremony units from the uniformed services. the president should be arriving in about 15 minutes. he will lay a wreath as well as make remarks. we will have that for you live at the top of the hour. tomorrow, democrats including debbie wasserman schultz will raise money for -- good morning, good to see you. >> good morning. >> i know you and your leaders are angry because they don't think democrats have done enough to help. what's going on? >> well, right now, republicans have done more i think for their candidate than democrats have done for their candidate. national republicans have been all in for scott walker. there's been a lot of internal
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debate among democrats about whether this race was winnable and it's a close race. all the recent polling has had walker in the lead. it would be an upset at this point if he lost. this is a closely divided state. marquette polled five times this year. his disapproval rating is 47%. >> i thought it was interesting, the center for american progress tweeted this. wisconsin poll's tightening with barrett coming on strong seems to indicate d.c. punditry might have called the race a tad early. if you were a betting man, huge turnout? what's going to happen a week from tomorrow? >> in 2010, about 50% of the voting adults turned out and two years earlier, about 70%. it won't be 70%, but it could be one of the highest turnouts ever
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for a governor in wisconsin. people are extremely engaged in this race. >> is there any high turnout favors one candidate over the other? >> i think high turnout doesn't necessarily -- they have to expand the electorate because they lost the 2010 voters by six points to scott walker. they need a lot of these people to come out and they need to win those people decisively. >> we saw walker and barrett debating over the weekend and they're going to debate again on thursday. barrett really on the attack saying at one point, it's not just about public employees, it's about the middle class. i think it's an attack on the middle class. does that seem to be resognating? i'm curious how much of this seems to be a fight over union rights. >> he has to expand that debate because the collective bargaining issue is one where everybody's dug in and it's also
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an issue that doesn't affect a lot of people, so he's been trying to make a broader argument really about the governor's character, about the fact the governor did this without saying he was going to do it. he's got to make a broader argument that if he's, and he has to burden of persuading people to do something rare and unusual, which is recall a sitting governor. >> thank you so much for taking the time. oh, baby, baby. pop star, justin bieber, wanted for questioning by los angeles police. what's that all about? plus, they overtake a bunch of super heroes for the top spot at the box office. throughout our entire lives. ♪ one a day men's 50+ is a complete multi-vitamin designed for men's health concerns as we age. ♪
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the biebs in a brawl, say it ain't so. he is wanted for questioning after a photographer assaulted him in a shopping ball.
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he tried to snap pics of bieber and his girlfriend as they left a movie theatre. speaking of movies, the avengers toppled by the men in black. the comedy beat the heroes at the box office earning $55 million in just three days. don't cry for the avengers though, they came in second with 37 million, but their earnings top half a billion and there's more action coming. ryan is here to help me look at some big films coming out this summer. >> there are a lot of them. >> "the dark knight" has ever buzzing. >> this is kind of the third and final in this director's trilogy of the bat man films and anne hathaway is there as cat woman. they've been talking about it for years. it's going to be huge. >> i've seen the trailers for the amazing spider-man.
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it looks pretty cool. >> doesn't seen that long since we've seen a spider-man film. we're starting over with andrew garfield and emma stone. it's got a new take, fresh look. these are both july releases, so that's going to be a big month. ridley scott, science fiction fans know him from blade runner and this is a prequel to aliens. it's going to be very suspen suspenseful. on the edge of my seat. >> i've seen 500 million previews for "brave." >> you don't always see a strong heroine. she's a great archery, a princess and a great archer and there's a competition in scotland. >> just like "the hunger games."
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archery's the thing. >> it's going to be fun and funny. >> dark horse. "snow white and the huntsm." when you say grim, obviously from the fairy tales. >> this time, she's the wicked witch and kristen stewart from "twilight" is snow white. this is the second snow white film of this year. it was a dud. it remains to be scene whether this one can be big, but it's got a -- got a great look and feel to it and definitely not your disney cartoon. >> not sure of what to make of "rock on ages." the long hair -- >> in the best shape of his life, i love '80s music as much as the next guy, but not sure this is going to fly. >> he looks super goofy with the long hair. >> i'm not so sure people want to see him in this way. kind of arrogant.
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i don't know. everyone says it's going to be a big hit. star studded cast, not so sure. >> so this is off the movie tracks. the biebs. you and i both said -- if you've ever seen justin bieber, he's a little person. not a big, tall, bulky guy. >> brawl is a relative term. there might have been some scratching involved. >> he's young and kind of -- >> i'm sure they were terrified. don't scratch me. talented guy. he's rich, he can afford a few barbs from me, can't he? >> i'm sure the lawyers are taking care of it. it's too bad he can't just take his girlfriend out to a movie. >> there's a price you pay for celebrity. if you take your girlfriend to the movie theatre, you're going to get photographed. go to iowa and go to the movies if you don't want to get harassed. >> thank you. take a live look. this is what we are waiting for.
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arlington national cemetery. president obama will be there any minute for a ceremony at the too many tomb of the unknowns. he will also later today, visit the vietnam veterans memorial. we will be right back with live coverage. for you... that you'll never have to buy another tank of gas? [ shannon ] i have absolutely no idea what the price of a gallon of gas is. [ male announcer ] that you can charge it at home like your smartphone? drives like the regular car, looks like the regular car, but underneath the hood, it's really different. [ male announcer ] so, don't miss out on this one-of-a-kind car, the 100% electric, zero-gas nissan leaf. nissan -- innovation that excites. [ female announcer ] now get a nissan leaf for $289 a month for 39 months. ♪ for $289 a month for 39 months. it's time to live wider awake. only the beautyrest recharge sleep system combines the comfort of aircool memory foam
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neutrogena® ultra sheer provides unbeatable uva uvb protection and while other sunscreens can feel greasy ultra sheer® is clean and dry. it's the best for your skin. ultra sheer®. neutrogena®. this is the scene in arlington, virginia, where president obama and mrs. obama are about to arrive. the president will lay a wreath at the tomb of the unknowns honoring all those who fought and died defending our freedom. after the wreath laying, the president will speak and we will bring you his remarks live. good morning, everyone. happy memorial day. and we are waiting for that ceremony at arlington. the nation's most hallowed ground. this year marks the 144th observance of memorial day at arlington. i'm joined by barery mcaffrey
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who served for 32 years. good morning and happy memorial day. >> yeah, good morning, chris. good to be with you. >> people watching have never been to one of these ceremonies, i have found them profoundly moving. i find the memorial to be moving. on the western side, which is what faces that amphitheater, it says here rests in honored glory an american soldier known but to god. talk to us, general, about the significance of this tomb and of the ceremony to have the commander in chief there on this memorial day. >> well, it's really a very moving and permanent tribute to america's war dead. arlington national cemetery is just simply beautiful and giant and restful and quiet. and there the tomb of the unknown soldiers, service members, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. permanently under the guard of the third infantry regiment.
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something every american should see, to observe that ceremony. the president goes there every memorial day and will lay a wreath accompanied by the commanding general of the district of washington to honor america's war dead. it's a beautiful ceremony. >> and it does happen, we should say, every day of the year. i mean, people come and lay wreaths at the tomb of the unknowns and we see the guard that is standing there and that is also something that is so emotional, i think, that 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, there is a guard there. he takes 21 steps to the tomb. which is obviously symbolic of a 21 gun salute. he waits 21 seconds until returning to his post. this, to me, in the united states, one of the most, i
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think, profound duties that a service member can be because no matter when you go there, no matter when the park is is opened or closed, there is that sense of respect. >> sure and america's families, also. you look at these thousands of graves and by the way, now, we're burying hundreds of the war dead over the last decade from remark and afghanistan and those military funerals, again by the old guard or by the air force or navy or marines, whoever there in touring their own war dead, are special, moving tributes to valor, to sacrifice, to courage. it's an american altar. >> let me ask you about a couple of things that are in the news while we wait for the president, general, because i think one of the reasons we wanted to talk about memorial day in general is to really look at what's going on with our returning soldiers now.
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this new study that 45% of the 1.6 million iraq and afghanistan war veterans are now filing for disability benefits. talk to me a little bit about that and what you think needs to be done as we look on the memorial day about what we owe those who served us. >> we've got change expectations and a very different combat environment. this is america's longest war. a lot of our noncommissioned officers, sergeants and petty officers, the senior officers, may have been in combat now three, four, five, ten times. so it's a decade at war for the active forces and a large number of of the garden reserve. it's had signature injuries in terms of these so-called i.e.d.s, roadside explosives. we're talking thousands a month that get detonated. so we've had a large number of our wounded. 53,000 killed and wounded in the war.

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